We can discover incredible opportunities to connect with our children during ordinary parts of the day when we practise mindfulness and consciously bring more of it into our lives. Being more mindful in these everyday moments allow us to slow down, stay present, and experience more joy together.
Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental practice of bringing your attention back to the present moment, so give it a try and be gentle with yourself if it feels hard to do – the willingness to bring your attention back to the present moment over and over (without judgment) is the essence of practising mindfulness.
Ask your child what they noticed about these moments when they were intentional about being present. Reflecting on the experience you shared can be fun and reveal even more! Slow down today and give it a try!
1. Eat a mindful Snack
- Sit with your child and share a snack
- Notice the different smells, colours and textures
- How does the food feel in your hand?
- How does it feel in your mouth as you chew and swallow?
2. Take a mindful walk
- Intentionally walk slowly
- Listen for new and familiar sounds
- Share what you hear
- Play a game of “I spy”
- Notice the different elements of nature around you: the smells, sounds, colours and textures.
- What does the ground feel like and sound like under your feet?
3. Mindfully read a book
- Find a quiet and comfortable palace to read together
- Sit close while reading.
- What does your child notice about how the book looks
- Flip the pages. What does this sound like? Smell like?
- Take time to read and pay attention to how the words feel on their lips. Which parts are benign used to enunciate the words like lips, tongue, teeth, palate, glottis?
4. Play a mindful game
- Playing “Simon says” is one way to practice mindful listening
- Bounce a ball. How does it sound when it hits the ground?
- How does it feel in your hands
- Play a memory game
- Notice when your mind wanders as you play
- Gently bring your attention back to the present moment
5. Take mindful breaths
- Be consciously aware of breathing in and out
- How does your breath feel as it moves past your nostrils?
- Ask your child to place one hand on their belly and the other on the chest
- Bring their attention to the rise and fall of both body parts with each breath.
If you are beginning with mindfulness practices for your child then the ideal age is 3 to 4 years.
The best practice to start with is “breathing exercises” you will be surprised as to how aptly children follow instructions.
The best part about helping a child start a mindfulness practice is you practice it along with them. What meditation, yoga, mindfulness techniques do you follow? Do write it in the comments section below.
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